Charism and Mission Living Together

Hearts reach out to a world in need.

Charism is a gift that flows from God’s love to the world. Reflecting God’s love, 350 years ago, six women gathered on a daily basis to share their hearts and serve their neighbor’s needs. These women were dedicated and responsive to the needs of the day. In 1650, they formally became the Sisters of St. Joseph, fulfilling God’s love by “uniting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God, without distinction.”

Elms College lives this charism through our core values of faith, community, justice and excellence in an effort to manifest change in the world and in our lives. All are welcome on the journey to unite with us in responding to the world.

We provide experiences of faith formation, spiritual exploration, cultural awareness, and educational experiences that are reflective of Elms mission. We challenge you to look closely at how you interact in classes, at jobs, in relationships, in the community and the world. The goal of reflection is to find the spiritual underpinning in a lesson or an idea and  to leave yourself open to a change of attitude or action in your daily life.

In short, we journey with each other, transforming into better versions of ourselves.


A Life-Changing Pilgrimage

Two Elms students spent a week in France in June 2018, practicing their French, learning about French history and culture, and — perhaps most importantly — making personal connections with the legacy of the college’s founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph.

From June 16 through 23, Monica Karriem ’20 of West Hartford, CT, and Jane Dugan ’20 of Southwick, MA, joined a pilgrimage to Le Puy, France, led by the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph (ACSSJ).

The focus of the pilgrimage was on the history of the first six sisters and Mother St. John Fontbonne, and also on sharing the charism of the sisters: “to live and work that all people may be united with God and with one another.”

“I learned that the SSJs stemmed from several strong women, and that we need to embody them more,” Jane said. “Starting with the first six sisters and Mother St. John Fontbonne, these women defied their society and were able to make a true difference in their times. If we were to act like them, we could certainly make the world better, as they strove to do.”

Read Jane and Monica’s full story here.